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David Brown

By the Numbers: Sliding Prices

David Brown warns of falling average sale prices in U.S. jewelry stores.

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By the Numbers: Sliding Prices

THE AVERAGE SALE at your typical U.S. jeweler seems to be locked in terminal decline, falling from $214 in April 2008 to a new low of $143 as of February this year. What’s most alarming about this drop in the 12-month rolling average is that it shows no real sign of reversing. And with January and February being significantly below the long-term average, it may be poised to drop further. What’s driving this precipitous fall? Our suspicion is that it is because jewelers stopped buying higher priced goods, and sales associates stopped showing them, apparently because they were convinced shoppers didn’t have the money to buy them.

If your average sale is sinking, you face a very difficult job in improving your overall sales — the increase in volume would need to be huge. A much better way is to focus on improving average value. Here are five steps to do that:

  1. Buy Up: Aim to bring in goods that will retail 30 percent higher than current inventory.
  2.  Mark Up: Increase your markups.
  3. Round Up: Hike those unusual prices like $172.50 to the nearest standard price, like $179.
  4. Sell Up: Show customers your best goods in any category first.
  5. Shut Up: Rein in those discounts.

This story is from the May 2010 edition of INSTORE.

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